Parents and administrators at Albany Middle School were shocked and saddened Thursday morning following the arrest of a sixth-grade teacher and coach on charges that he molested a child younger than 14.
Police said James Izumizaki, 28, was arrested Wednesday at his home shortly after 7 a.m. following an investigation into reports that he had an inappropriate relationship with a student. He was booked into jail was released by Thursday afternoon after posting $100,000 bail. Attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.
Albany Unified School District Supt. Marla Stephenson said at a news conference that the news came as a "shock," which is always the case when such allegations come forward. She described Izumizaki as a "highly respected" and "popular" teacher. He also was the school's volleyball and basketball coach. Many kids called him "Mr. I."
One parent, who declined to give her name, told NBC Bay Area with tears in her eyes that he "was one of the best teachers here."
The case remains under investigation and anyone with information about this case or about any inappropriate conduct or contact between the suspect and minors, should contact police at (510) 528-5783.
NBC Bay Area's Christie Smith contributed to this report.